What is a GTA Notchback?
The Notchback was an optional package that was made only available on the Trans AM GTA model and only available for the 1988, and part of 1989, model years. There was a total of 718 Trans AM GTAs with the optional Notchback produced during the 1988 model year.
Instead of the normal hatch glass that was found on the Third Generation Firebirds, the optional Notchback package replaced the hatch glass with a fiberglass decklid, small glass rear window, and straight decklid spoiler. In addition to the fiberglass decklid, the optional Notchback package replaced the standard Trans AM GTA rear seats with unique rear seats featuring integrated headrests.
The pictures above illustrate a side by side comparison between a 1988 Trans AM GTA and a 1988 Trans AM GTA equipped with the optional Notchback decklid. The GTA equipped with the Notchback option features a fiberglass decklid that replaces the standard glass hatchback that was normally found on the 1988 Trans AM GTA. The Notchback also uses the straight decklid spoiler instead of the standard aero spoiler found on the 1988 Trans AM GTA.
1988 Trans AM GTA with Notchback package used unique rear seats featuring an integrated headrest
Another noticeable difference between the 1988 Trans AM GTA and the 1988 Trans AM GTA equipped with the optional Notchback package was the rear seats (pictured above). The 1988 Trans AM GTA Notchback featured rear seats with an integrated headrest - which are the same rear seats the 1989 Turbo Trans AM GTA used - while the non-Notchback equipped 1988 Trans AM GTAs used standard rear seats.
Besides these 3 distinct, aforementioned, items the GTA Notchback was the same as the "standard" GTA. Any optional items that was available on the GTA (e.g., digital instrument cluster, sub-woofer, T-Tops, 5.0L with 5-speed transmission, etc.) was also available on the GTA Notchback.
Auto-Fab, Inc. of Auburn Hills, MI manufactured the fiberglass decklids for the GTA Notchbacks. According to sources at Pontiac, the fiberglass decklid had numerous fitment issues from the start, as well as quality issues, that was never really resolved during the period the Notchback was available.
According to Pontiac, the optional Notchback package on the 1988 Trans AM GTA was only available for the 1988 model year with a total of 718 being produced. A Pontiac Car Distribution Bulletin stated that no 1989 Trans AM GTAs would be made available with the optional Notchback package and that the Notchback option was effectively canceled on August 30, 1988. However, Pontiac records show that some 1989 Trans AM GTAs with the optional Notchback package were produced. For further information on the 1989 Trans AM GTA with the optional Notchback package, please see the following page: 1989 GTA Notchbacks